Youth Empowerment Grant

Youth Empowerment Grant

UOG Press’s Youth Empowerment Initiative is made possible through the generous support from a grant awarded by the Office of the Governor, Lourdes Leon Guerrero and Lieutenant Governor Josh Tenorio.

As the world heals from the tremendous loss the global community has collectively experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the value of cultural, historical and creative literature is all the more integral during this recovery period.  The Youth Empowerment Grant is a total of 11 projects geared at promoting cultural literacy and uplifting our youth and young adults who did not have access to the books they would have been reading had they been in school every day. UOG Press’s YE Grant aims to fill this gap by providing the necessary resources that were lacking in our community and seeks to help connect our island’s families to their own lived experiences through books. 

Youth Empowerment Projects: 

The Village Bookshelf will provide a collection of 45 different books to every village on the island and over 20 community-based organizations. These books center the unique and lived experience the people and cultures in the Western Pacific Region.

Village Voices seeks to promote the unique identity of each of our island’s villages and the ways in which villages help our youth develop their sense of self in connection to a community. It captures the distinct stories of our villages and the people who make them special through. 

Our Resiliency Stories project will bring classroom sets of four publications that center on the resiliency of CHamoru people to overcome great odds. These resiliency stories can be used as models for our youth to build their own sense of strength and purpose around:

The Kantan CHamoru Children’s Books Series transforms five CHamoru songs and chants into illustrated books that focus on timeless CHamoru values in order to instill them into the lives of young readers and create an interest and love for the CHamoru language and music.

Novels for Teenaged Readers project will publish at least two young adult novels and one graphic novel focused on issues of identity; inclusion; peer pressure; family and other relationships; loss; and cultural and traditional knowledge. These books will be used in classrooms and community spaces to empower our youth and provide them with characters and stories they can relate to.

There has not been a comprehensive history book about Guam published in the last 30 years, and our youth are limited with dated history texts that have little-to-no perspective on contemporary issues. The Understanding issues in Guam’s History project will bridge this gap by creating a publication with the guidance of prominent local historians like Dr. Robert Underwood and Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua, along with 40 Guam history teachers who will be trained in incorporating this text into the classroom.

The Life on Guam Science & Sustainability Series will update the previously published “Life on Guam” series with high-quality images and illustrations, a more contemporary design, and significant text edits to empower students to learn more about Guam’s distinct environment and environmental issues, like climate change.

Hu Guaiya Guåhan– Get Outside & Love Guam is designed to help communities facilitate educational hikes and walks in our island’s unique outdoor spaces that inform youth about our native plants and their uses and empower them to protect our beautiful island by keeping these spaces clean and accessible to others. UOG Press will distribute 500 community copies of our books that center around our environment to community-based organizations that offer summer and after-school programs aimed at engaging youth in outdoor activities 

The Children of Micronesia Educator’s Guide will update a series of books first produced in the 1900s and entitled The Micronesian Child. UOG Press will update these guides that educators can then use to foster their knowledge of the incredible diversity of peoples, cultures, histories, governments, and experiences of Micronesia. The goal of this project is to provide teachers with resources to help them appreciate and better understand all of the students in their classroom and help inspire them to include knowledge about the region in their curriculum. 

The Remembering Billie Documentary will continue UOG Press’s suicide prevention initiative by producing a professional documentary aimed at centering the narratives of the mental health and suicide crisis on Guåhan. Remembering Billie will include dramatic flashbacks produced in partnership with Breaking Wave Theatre Company; and interviews with a range of mental health professionals, individuals, families, and organizations who have been affected by suicide.